Oklahoma House bill would make it unlawful for an attorney to contribute to a judicial campaign

January 24th, 2013 by Bill Raftery Leave a reply »

There’s been several legislative efforts in the last few years to require judges recuse when attorneys contribute to their judicial campaigns. An Oklahoma House bill (HB 2251) takes this one step further and makes such contributions unlawful.

HB 1543 would amend the state’s Attorneys and the State Bar Statute (Title 5) to add the following:

It shall be unlawful for an attorney to make any contribution to a candidate for judicial office. For purposes of this section, “judicial office” means all elective offices for district judge, associate district judge and offices for which Declarations of Candidacy are filed with the State Election Board.

There is no indication what the punishment for violation of the provision would be.

This is not the first time Oklahoma’s considered such a plan. In 2008 HB 2251 was introduced, using the exact same language as HB 1543 of 2013, but by a different member of the Oklahoma House (Rep. Marian Cooksey in 2008; Rep. Ken Walker in 2013).

 

1 comment

  1. Around 1969, Illinois Supreme Court judges Solfisburg and Klingbiel (a real name, not a Klan official) got on the front page and evening news amid accusations they or their relatives held stock in companies whose cases appeared before their court and in whose favor they voted. After an investigation, these judges resigned. One can see how a very generous conribution to a judicial campaign by an attoney or lawfirm might induce favorable disposition and why the legislature might want to outlaw the practice.